Mariners can obtain situational awareness of surface maritime traffic by looking out to sea and by using devices such as radars and automated identification system transponders on ships. These systems can identify vessels along with pertinent data about their voyage. But these methods have limitations. Master mariners with powerful binoculars can tell a lot just by looking at a ship far off in the distance; however, they can’t see beyond the horizon, in bad weather or at night. The horizon even limits radar and transponder data can be manipulated or deleted.
The U.S. Defense Department could one day place thousands of low-cost, floating sensors into the ocean to collect environmental data, such as water temperature, as well as activity data about commercial vessels, aircraft and even fish or maritime mammals moving through the area. But others also are dropping similar sensors in the world’s oceans, and defense researchers suggest many of those systems could be integrated into an even more comprehensive ocean-based Internet of Things.
The maritime services continue to maintain a balance between cyber and kinetic weapons even while engaged in a daily cyber conflict.
Leaders for all three maritime services—the Navy, Marines and Coast Guard—participated in a town hall forum during the AFCEA-USNI West 2019 Conference in San Diego, and they agreed that cyber conflict rages on.
“If you’re asking me if I think we’re at war, I think I’d say yes,” Gen. Robert Neller, USMC, Marine Corps commandant, told one audience member. “We’re at war right now in cyberspace. We’ve been at war for maybe a decade. They’re pouring oil over the castle walls every day.”
Adm. John Richardson, USN, chief of naval operations, theorizes that the decades to come could require a greater emphasis on maritime operations because of multiple factors, including global climate change, increased maritime traffic and the rise of megacities near coastal areas
The U.S. Navy is consolidating its information warfare efforts to ensure effective operations across the breadth of the fleet and its ashore assets. This endeavor ties together training, doctrine and equipping as new threats and technologies rapidly change the nature of the information operations realm.
The U.S. Coast Guard is pursuing digital solutions to support its unique set of military, law enforcement, humanitarian, regulatory and diplomatic responsibilities. It is no small feat to provide information technology to its workforce of 87,570, as well as to its cutters, boats, and aircraft that move along the coastline and inland waterways protecting the United States.
Months after initiating a project to research and rapidly field information warfare-related technologies, the U.S. Navy has expanded the effort servicewide and expects to field the first system by the end of fiscal year 2019.
The Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR) Systems Center Atlantic announced last summer the formation of an industry consortium for the Information Warfare Research Project (IWRP). The intent is to leverage the flexible contracting platform known as other transaction authority (OTA) to rapidly develop and deploy technologies.
Orolia, through its McMurdo brand, was awarded a contract by the U.K. Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) for nationwide enhancements to search and rescue satellite technology. Enhancements will enable the MCA to operate with the new Medium-altitude Earth Orbit Search and Rescue (MEOSAR) satellites being deployed now.
The Coast Guard's Command, Control and Communications Engineering Center (C3CEN) awarded a contract to FLIR Maritime U.S. Inc., of Nashua, New Hampshire, on Wednesday for the Scalable Integrated Navigation System, Two (SINS-2). The single award firm fixed price indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contract is valued at $50 million and consists of a five-year base with a five-year option. The total period of performance is 10 years. SINS-2 is a suite of commercially available electronic equipment and sensors consisting of low-power radar/chart plotter, multifunction displays, single-frequency Global Positioning System and other required navigation components.
Metron Inc.,* Reston, Virginia, is being awarded a $7,167,816 performance based, cost-plus-fixed-fee completion contract for the development of a maritime counter-intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (C-ISR) planning system designed to defeat adversary ISR networks through optimal planning of coordinated friendly force movement emissions control, and denial and deception operations. The contract includes an 18-month base period which includes three optional taskings, and one 12-month option period that includes three optional taskings. The option period and taskings, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of this contract to an estimated $12,825,833. Work will be performed in Reston, V
Sweeping changes are on the horizon for one NATO agency as it reshapes its software acquisition processes and embarks on a task to create what officials call an in-house “software factory.”
The NATO Communications and Information (NCI) Agency wants to overhaul the way it buys software after inspections revealed acute shortcomings that led to several program cost overruns and delays, says Paul Howland, chief of command and control services for NCI Agency, which serves as NATO’s information technology and command, control, communications and computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (C4ISR) provider, including cyber and missile defense.
Non-submariners can get a rare sneak peek into the bowels of a submarine’s control centers during the upcoming sea services conference in San Diego next week. Well, sort of. It’s not a peek into an actual boat's radio control room, for example, but an opportunity to see and touch equipment that simulates a variety of shipboard systems.
The mobile craze and the shift to constant connectivity—even if it means paying steep prices for slow Internet speeds—have paid off for both airlines offering onboard Wi-Fi hot spots and satellite communications providers.
Northrop Grumman Corporation, San Diego, California, is being awarded a more than $35 million contract modification for operations and maintenance services in support of U.S. Navy Global Hawk Maritime Demonstration. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity.
As criminals turn to clandestine methods of entry into the United States, leaders in the maritime domain are working overtime to minimize threats by increasing data-sharing capabilities. And the effort to detect and deter these threats requires coordination between combatant commands, the services and the Defense Department's intelligence agencies.